The census calculates that by 2042, Americans who identify themselves as Hispanic, black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander will together outnumber non-Hispanic whites. Four years ago, officials had projected the shift would come in 2050. The nation has been growing more diverse for decades, but the process has sped up through immigration and higher birth rates among minority residents, especially Hispanics, the Daily News reported.
The main reason for the accelerating change is significantly higher birthrates among immigrants. Another factor is the influx of foreigners, rising from about 1.3 million annually today to more than 2 million a year by midcentury, according to projections based on current immigration policies.
"No other country has experienced such rapid racial and ethnic change," said Mark Mather, a demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, a research organization in Washington.
The Census Bureau on Thursday, Aug 14 released population projections through 2050, based on rates for births, deaths and immigration. They are subject to big revisions, depending on immigration policy, cultural changes and natural or manmade disasters.
The US has nearly 305 million people at present. The population is projected to hit 400 million in 2039 and 439 million in 2050.
According to the new forecast, by 2050, the number of Hispanic people will nearly triple, to 133 million from 47 million, to account for 30 percent of Americans, compared with 15 percent today.
People who say they are Asian, with their ranks soaring to 41 million from 16 million, will make up more than 9 percent of the population, up from 5 percent.